Design Master Class Tips and Tricks from N&O Design Team ProsDesign Master Class Sandra Moncada-Mainz

Design Master Class: Sandra Moncada-Mainz remakes a North Raleigh girl’s room

April 25, 2014 

  • About the designer

    Sandra Moncada-Mainz, owner of Couture Haus Interior Design, holds a bachelor’s degree in interior design with a minor in art from Meredith College. She received her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in Colombia and an MBA in England. After living and working in marketing in New York, England, Germany, Austria, France, Russia and Colombia for more than 15 years, she moved to Raleigh and launched her interior design business in 2008.

  • Design Master Class

    N&O Design Team members who share their expertise twice a month in Home & Garden are all members of the Alliance of Interior Designers, a group of Triangle-area professionals. Learn more at

The Challenge

The 15-year-old in this transitional-style home in North Raleigh had outgrown her sweet toddler bedroom and needed a space that reflected her sense of style, love of fashion and passion for music. The challenge was to create a fun, age-appropriate and highly functional space that would be uniquely hers. See the stylish result on Page 4D.

Super Space

This project had two key requirements: This 12-by-15-foot room had to provide a place to display an ever-changing collection of magazine clippings, and it needed to accommodate a big mirror – a must in every teenage girl’s room.

We started by painting the room in a warm beige to create a neutral backdrop. Pinch-pleated drapes and a valance in an oatmeal fabric with shimmery, gold accents add sophistication, and a Roman shade with blackout lining lets our teen sleep late on weekends.

We installed textured cork tiles side by side all along the longest wall, creating a blank canvas where fashion and lifestyle clippings can be displayed and rearranged as the mood strikes. The wall also provides extra sound insulation, allowing the teen to crank the volume up on her favorite music without disturbing the rest of the family. A sleek acrylic table in front of the wall creates an ideal space for study and takes up little visual space. To create an eclectic vibe, the table is paired with a French empire, square-back chair in a distressed finish with beige linen upholstery.

The full-size bed features a high, tufted headboard upholstered in beige velvet and embellished with antique gold nailhead trim. We paired it with two white lacquer midcentury-modern night tables. An 82- by-42-inch floor mirror in a silver finish was positioned against a second wall, allowing our teen to double check her outfit before heading to school.

We reupholstered an existing chair in a richly textured fuschia chenille, with contrasting cushion and piping. The bedding features the same bold orange, fuschia and white ikat as the cushion. Monogrammed beige shams, fuchsia throw pillows and a bolster in a geometric pattern complete the ensemble. A chandelier of overlapping glass links adds a wow factor and illuminates the space.

Terrific trick

To make an art piece stand out, try color blocking. We pulled the fuchsia from our color scheme and painted a rectangle on the wall. On top we placed square white lacquer wall flowers. The artwork shines, and we have added an extra pop of color.

(Not) by the book

The first element you notice in a room is its focal point. Let this drive your design. Our cork wall is the show stopper; once we decided its placement and color, the rest came easily. The furniture arrangement, color palette and everything else revolve around this focal point, visually drawing attention to it. A great focal point can make a room stunning.

Couture Haus

1320 Caistor Lane, Raleigh

919-426-8851 or

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